Do Cribs Expire? Your Guide to Crib Safety and Longevity

Is someone trying to give you a used “heirloom” antique crib and you’re having a hard time deciding if you should take it or not and now you’re googling “do cribs expire?”

I got your back sister. Or brother.

Keep scrolling to quickly find the answer.

So Do Cribs Expire?

No, cribs don’t expire. They don’t have a strict expiration date like food or drinks. 

However, it’s a bit like the furniture in the house – as they get older, they can get a little wobbly. Which is not good for any crib.

Some experts suggest passing on hand-me-down cribs that are over ten years old. Safety rules and technology have come a long way since then! 

So, when picking a crib for your baby, look for ones that meet the newest safety standards, give them a thorough once-over to ensure they’re in tip-top shape, and don’t hesitate to explore other options for older cribs. 

Remember, your baby’s safety is the name of the game!

How Old Can A Crib Be And Still Be Safe?

Most cribs are built to handle about 3 to 5 years of use before they might start showing their age. 

If a crib is over 10 years old, it might be time to consider an upgrade. 

Safety standards and designs evolve, so it’s always wise to stay up to date. 

Cribs that are made after June 28, 2011, are considered safe and CPSC-compliant.

Cribs do not have an expiry date written by the manufacturer but still, your baby’s comfort and safety are top priorities, so be sure to give their crib a regular checkup for any signs of wear.

And if in doubt, opt for a newer option that meets the latest safety guidelines. 

How Long Are Cribs Good for?

Cribs are good for at least 3 to 5 years of continuous use.

However, I’ve heard of parents using their cribs for more than, say 7 years or more (for 2nd babies) so it can vary.

Some experts suggest that you should consider replacing a crib that is more than 10 years old due to potential safety issues that can arise over time.

How To Make an Old Crib Safe

If your mom or mother-in-law wants to give you a crib or you’d prefer to buy a secondhand crib for financial reasons, there are steps you can take to ensure its safety. 

Before putting the crib into use, carefully inspect it for any signs of wear, damage, or missing parts. Look for sharp edges, loose screws, and cracked wood. 

How to make an old crib safe involves tightening all screws and bolts, ensuring that the mattress fits snugly, and verifying that the slats are properly spaced to prevent entrapment.

But if the crib they’re trying to give you is almost 10 years old, you can kindly decline and say no to it and point them to this link.

Baby Crib Safety Standards and Regulations 

To ensure your baby’s safety, always opt for a crib that meets the latest safety standards and regulations. 

Check also that it’s been manufactured after June 28, 2011, as those are CPSC-compliant and are considered safe.

Look for a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified crib or ideally a crib that has JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) and American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) certification seal, which indicates that the crib has undergone rigorous testing for safety and quality. 

The most recent guidelines include recommendations about crib slat spacing, corner post height, and overall crib structure.

A non-toxic crib that has the Greenguard Gold certification is also ideal to look for, so you’ll have peace of mind that your little one is not slowly inhaling toxins every night.

What Can You Do with Old Cribs?

As your little one grows and transitions to a toddler bed, you might find yourself wondering what to do with an old crib. 

Don’t worry; there are plenty of creative ways to repurpose or recycle it. 

If you or your spouse are quite handy and love DIY, you can transform old cribs into desks, playpens, or even craft stations!

You can also consider donating the crib to a local charity or shelter, giving it new life while helping others in need.

I made mine into a “diaper-changing prison.” 

My toddler preferred pull up diapers but it was very hard to change her, so I put her in the crib and changed her there so she won’t be able to run away from me!

Possible Dangers of Old Antique Cribs

While antique cribs have a nostalgic charm, they might not meet the safety standards of today’s cribs. Here are some possible dangers associated with old antique cribs:

  • Drop-down sides: Old cribs often feature drop-down sides, which can lead to entrapment or falls.
  • Wide gaps between slats: Wide gaps can pose a risk of entrapment for a baby’s head or body.
  • Decorative cutouts: They can also lead to entrapment or injury.
  • Corner posts: They can catch clothing and pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Loose-fitting mattresses: An ill-fitting mattress can lead to suffocation or other sleep-related risks.
  • Missing or bad parts: Missing or damaged parts can compromise the crib’s structural integrity.
  • Lead paint: Older cribs might have lead-based paint, which is harmful if ingested.

Safety Considerations for Second-Hand Cribs

If you’re considering using a secondhand crib, follow these safety considerations to ensure your baby’s well-being:

  • Not recalled: Check if the crib has been subject to any recalls.
  • Manufactured not later than June 28, 2011: Choose a crib that was manufactured relatively recently.
  • Includes all parts: Ensure that all parts, including hardware and instructions, are included.
  • Not damaged nor rickety: Thoroughly inspect the crib for any signs of damage or instability.
  • Not modified: Do not use a crib that has been modified or altered.

FAQ on Do Baby Cribs Expire

Is it safe to use old cribs?

It is safe to use old cribs if the meet current safety federal standards. Inspect them thoroughly before use.

What is the lifespan of a crib?

Cribs don’t have a lifespan but do consider replacing them after several years or use, or not more than 10 years of use. Especially if they’re showing obvious signs of wear and tear.

Is it OK to use a 30-year-old crib?

No, it’s not OK to use a 30-year old crib due to potential safety concerns and outdated standards.

Why can’t you use a crib older than 10 years?

You can’t use a crib older than 10 years because of evolved crib safety standards, and older cribs might not meet the latest safety guidelines, posing risks to your baby’s safety.

Do Cribs Expire: Bottomline

So in conclusion, cribs don’t technically expire but like any other furniture, they can be worn down.

Their safety can be compromised as they age. 

It’s recommended not to use hand-me-down cribs more than a decade old. 

Prioritize the safety of your precious little one by selecting cribs that meet the latest safety standards, conducting thorough inspections of secondhand cribs, and considering alternatives for old cribs. 

With a little knowledge and care, you can create a secure and comfortable sleeping environment for your baby.

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